The government was warned that compulsory measures will be considered unless more farmers increase the amount of land under environment management. Minister Jim Paice says that more farmers must support the Campaign for the Farmed Environment.
The campaign, which covers England only, was set up by the industry 15 months ago as a voluntary alternative to a compulsory set-aside replacement. it aims to increase the amount of English farmland in voluntary environmental management by 30,000 ha (74,000 acres)
Farmers are being urged to make sure 70% of land is in an agri-environment scheme and double the number of in-field environmental stewardship options. They are also being encouraged to retain 179,000 ha (442,000 acres) of uncropped land currently out of production.
Mr Paice said the campaign had done much to raise farmers' awareness of the environmental benefits that their land can delivery. But the government would consider a compulsory approach, unless the farming community delivered better results.